Weddings are about celebrating the engaged couple, but they’re also about our communities and making the most of the wedding weekend we have with some of our best friends and closest family members. Sometimes guests travel from around the world to celebrate your special day, and they want to have a great time and make the most of the few days they’ll spend with you.
Most couples want their guests to say that their wedding was The Best Ever. Yep, it’s true, and your guests won’t just say that if they don’t have a good – no, a great – time. Sound like a lot of pressure? It can be.
Here are a few tips for how you can maintain your sanity, throw a fabulous event and hear those three precious words from your friends and family after all is said and done.
1. It’s about you, but it’s also about them
The wedding is about you, but also remember that you’ve asked your closest friends and family to come celebrate you, so it’s also about them. When planning your wedding, try to think about the needs of your guests. The truth is, if they have a great time you most likely will too. Guests bring the party, and they’re there to celebrate you.
2. Make it easy for guests to RSVP:
We created wedOcracy with our guests in mind, and in doing so we learned something obvious yet perhaps less heeded than it should be: your guests can’t wait to come, but they don’t want you to waste their time. When you don’t make things clear on the invitation (where to RSVP, who to call with questions, directions to the venue, etc) then the people you say you love and can’t wait to celebrate with end up confused and stressed. This does not have to be the way things go.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate:
A few months after our wedding, we attended a cousin’s wedding (not the same one!) about 1000 miles and a national border away from our home. Let’s just say that although we were fairly certain we were part of the wedding party, as of the night of the Rehearsal Dinner we didn’t know which events we were invited to – or if there would even BE a rehearsal dinner. We did get the invitation to the ceremony and reception, but what about times and places for other events? We spoke to her a few hours before the dinner and confirmed we were invited. Unfortunately, by that time, it was too late for us to make it. Not knowing when and where meant we didn’t get there on time, and went out for a late-night pizza instead. We also missed the Sunday Brunch for similar reasons. You don’t want this to be you, now do you?
Make the important information easily accessible to the people who need it, in a timely fashion, and save yourselves a lot of pain.
4. Be visible:
On the wedding day, it’s important to remember how far some of your guests have traveled. No matter how fabulous your wedding destination is, they didn’t come all this way just to hit the town and take in the sights. They’re there because of you, so remember to try and see them during the busy day.
It’s a no-brainer but it needs to be said: Take the time to go around to the different tables during the reception and thank people for coming. Make sure you give yourselves the time to give old friends you haven’t seen since college great big hugs and sit with them and reminisce about how different you all were in college. You are super important on this day, but presumably, so are they to you! Even a few stolen moments will always be there for you to remember.
5. Have Fun and Be Fun:
The point of this post is to help you find ways to make your wedding The Best Ever. But your guests won’t say that because of how much you spent on the chocolate flamingo fountain centerpieces or the cost of your dress. The truth is, the best weddings are a joy to attend and stay on our minds (and in our conversations) for years to come because of how we felt being there. If you want your guests to enjoy yours, treat ’em right and they’ll talk for years. And if you don’t want to treat ’em right, you might end up being on a future list of top 10 wedding guest complaints. The choice is yours!
Conclusion: Planning a wedding can be stressful, and factoring in your guests can be even more challenging. The truth is, they’re the key to making your event fun. They bring the party, and are there to celebrate you. When planning your wedding, thinking about them actually can help you plan an unforgettable wedding. We hope this is helpful to you. It worked for us and if it helps one of you to have a more memorable day – or avoid a day you’d rather forget – then we’re happy. And as always we look forward to your thoughts, opinions and stories in response!
Planning a wedding and have questions about how to factor in the needs of your guests while still being true to yourself? We’d love to hear from you! Hit us up in the comments!
Photo credit: Amici Wedding Photography